Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World COPD Day - November 14, 2007


World COPD Day 2007 held this year on November 14. The event is organized by GOLD (the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease,
), with further support from the International COPD Coalition(ICC,, and the World Organization of Family Doctors(WONCA). It represents a partnership between health care groups and respiratory educators to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is a highly prevalent disease, has a large impact on quality of life for
patients and their families, and kills millions of people worldwide. The early
stages of COPD are often unrecognized, but it is very easy to determine whether a person is at risk. If COPD is detected early, treatments are available to prevent further deterioration of lung function.

The theme of this year’s World COPD Day is “Breathless not Helpless.” The theme was chosen to emphasize that breathlessness and other symptoms of COPD are not simply a normal part of aging, and that there is treatment available to help people with COPD. This positive slogan aims to empower patients and others who have symptoms of COPD to visit their doctors and get help. An additional focus on “How You Can Help Yourself If You Have COPD” to this year’s activities and communications will also help spread these positive messages.

World COPD Day Long-Term Goals

World COPD Day calls for physicians, public authorities, and national
organizations to work together to bring awareness to COPD. By making the
general public and the health care community aware of the symptoms of COPD, individuals with symptoms will receive appropriate treatment and prevent further deterioration of their lungs.
Ultimately, this effort will:

® significantly reduce deaths from COPD

® cut the number of hospitalizations due to COPD

® reduce the rate of new cases of COPD developing.

Key short-term strategies to achieve these goals include: making the general
public aware of the symptoms of COPD; making tools for COPD
diagnosis—especially spirometers—available to health care workers; making
medications available and affordable; informing and educating health authorities, physicians, patients, and families about effective management of COPD; and supporting efforts to reduce people’s exposure to environmental risk factors implicated in the disease.

Further information about World COPD Day 2007 is available online at the World COPD Day Internet Headquarters ( and on the Websites of the other organizations listed above.